Now penniless, Lawrence Ashmore ( Ben Wilson ), whose late father was ruined on the stock exchange, obtains a position as a reporter. Ashmore is assigned to investigate the reported fatal illness of Jesse Craven, one of Wall Street's financial monarchs. The family is eagerly awaiting Craven's son Larry to return from abroad, and when Ashmore appears he is mistaken for Larry. Meanwhile, Craven's chief competitor, Israel Farnum ( Marc Robbins ), plans to obtain his rival's stock interests, and to accomplish this kidnaps Larry when he reaches the city. The elder Craven, his daughter Edith ( Francelia Billington ), and brother Jesse ( W. J. Higby ) persuade Ashmore to impersonate Larry, and he agrees, carrying on the fight against Farnum. After a series of adventures in which Ashmore is carried off to sea by Farnum's thugs, he returns in time to checkmate the conspirators. Farnum, defeated, commits suicide, the real Larry returns, and Ashmore wins Edith Craven, the daughter of the man he saved.
This 1916 silent drama was produced by The Universal Film Manufacturing Company and starred Ben Wilson. Sadly, The Mainspring may now be a lost silent film.
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